In documents submitted to Runnymede Borough Council, the Resort outline plans to demolish the existing pyramid entrance portal and replace it with a new, themed entrance in the form of a watch tower, alongside associated theming, new queueline enclosure fencing, and a feature gate.
The new watch tower entrance will include two floors with the ground floor including a bag drop facility for visitors, meaning that the existing bag drop area located inside the building near the ride’s station will no longer be used. Plans also indicate that the ground floor will feature a pre-show. Whilst there is no indication on the plans as to what this pre-show will consist of, it does suggest that there will be additional elements to the overall attraction experience. The top floor of the tower will only be accessible to staff.
In addition to the watch tower a number of additional theming elements are also planned to be installed. A new 4.6m high gate, with a themed entrance sign set above and stacks of rubber tyres to either side will welcome guests to the newly re-themed attraction. A fake generator will be added to the west of the watch tower, whilst the existing queue area will be extended to the north and west with a 3.39m barbed wire fence set around the perimeter of the queue area.
Inside the attraction, the existing rollercoaster will remain with no changes to the layout proposed. As planning permission is not required for any changes to the interior, including the addition of any new theming, the plans do not state what X is set to be re-themed to. Some planning documents do include the project name ‘X:\NWO WD’. With the Resort’s end of season marketing using the tagline ‘See you in the safe zone’, could the ‘WD’ in the project name suggest a permanent The Walking Dead attraction is heading to the Island?
This won’t be the first time X has received a re-theme with the ride previously being called X:\ No Way Out from its opening in 1996 up until the end of the 2012 season. Its previous incarnation saw guests make their way through an elaborate, interactive queue which included multiple interactive themed rooms, including a trommel, however over the years these became disused before eventually being split off to form part of the Island’s scare maze line up. Guests also experienced the ride backwards with the ride area being in almost total darkness. For the 2013 season lighting and lasers were added alongside a new soundtrack, although this was replaced with dance music in 2014. For the 2017 season IMAscore composed a special version of the Resort’s Island theme for the ride.